Problems with son's passport - can anyone help?

Old Jan 30th 2015, 8:45 pm
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Default Problems with son's passport - can anyone help?

Hi all,
I am new to this forum that I have found by chance while looking for information online.
I would need some help, please, to understand what to do with my son's passport.

Background: I am an EU citizen and I was a UK resident from 1998 to September last year. I don't know my current residence status since I have been unemployed since October last year and I am currently living abroad.
I was naturalised as a British citizen in 2012 but then for family reasons I had to move abroad. My son was born abroad in a EU country in 2013. I assume my son is a British citizen and I have assumed he is by descent, but the answer I received by the home Office further to an email of mine was not clear.

Last year I returned to the UK on my own to work for a few months and while I was in the UK I applied for my son's passport. I called the Passport Office several times to make sure I was sending the right documents and when I told them that my son was not with me in the UK, the operator told me it was not a problem and that the information I was sending was sufficient.
Of course, this turned out not to be the case: my son's presence in the UK was indeed required and a lot more information was requested from me - I have all this information but due to our complicated work situation everything was in a third EU country and I could not get hold of it within a short period of time. I was therefore advised by the Passport Office to withdraw the application.

Leaving aside the fact that I applied because I was told that my son's absence was not an issue and now the Passport Office does not want to return the passport fee, whenever I call them I receive conflicting information. One operator told me she didn't understand why a passport was not issued since the documentation I provided was enough, nobody can tell me what I really need to send and if I can send copies instead of originals... it is all becoming so messy!!!

Do you know if my son really had to be present in the UK to apply for a passport within the UK? There was nothing about this requirement in the Passport application pack...

Also, I assumed that because of my naturalisation status my son could only be British by descent. However, in another post I read this reply by BritinParis:

"If your wife holds XYZ citizenship and you can obtain a XYZ passport for your son it may be advisable to do this and then register him as a British citizen after living in the UK for three years together as this would give him British citizenship otherwise than by descent, rather than by descent, thus allowing him to pass on his British citizenship to his own children automatically if they are born outside the UK."

Do you think there is a way for my son to be registered as British otherwise than by descent? I was employed in the UK between 1998 and 2014, but I spent two years abroad (while still employed, though - I have all the payslips) between 2012 and 2014, however my son was born abroad...

Would it be a good idea for us to delay applying for his British passport in case we move back to the UK in the future, as suggested by BritinParis? Would this be a straightforward Passport application, or would we have to go through the very expensive citizenship process?

I am sorry for the very long story, I am getting very confused with all the different options and the fact that neither the Home Office nor the Passport Office are very forthcoming with information doesn't make my life easy. Of course, being British otherwise than by descent would be great for him!

Thank you for any help!

Last edited by Laura69; Jan 30th 2015 at 9:47 pm.
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Old Jan 30th 2015, 9:36 pm
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Default Re: Problems with son's passport - can anyone help?

Another question: would it be a good idea to get a birth/registration certificate from our local High Commission, or would this immediately imply that my son is a British by descent? I would not want this to be an issue if it is true that he could become British otherwise than by descent should we return to the UK.
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Old Jan 30th 2015, 10:21 pm
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Default Re: Problems with son's passport - can anyone help?

If your son was born abroad after you naturalised as a British citizen then your son is British by descent already. You cannot change this status through registration nor would this be changed by acquiring a consular birth certificate.

You or his father will need to apply for your son's passport from whichever country he is resident in. You can also apply for his passport if he is visiting you in the UK.
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Old Jan 31st 2015, 3:41 am
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Default Re: Problems with son's passport - can anyone help?

Originally Posted by BritInParis View Post
If your son was born abroad after you naturalised as a British citizen then your son is British by descent already. You cannot change this status through registration nor would this be changed by acquiring a consular birth certificate.

You or his father will need to apply for your son's passport from whichever country he is resident in. You can also apply for his passport if he is visiting you in the UK.
Yes, you have to apply from whichever country he is resident in.

The reason is so that the HMPO would able to check for his local documents and know where to send the documents and passport after it has been processed.

Also, in case of rejection in general (which you don't have to worry about), then there won't be a need for deportation and other legal proceedings since the applicant is not in the UK.
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Old Jan 31st 2015, 6:55 am
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Default Re: Problems with son's passport - can anyone help?

Thanks for your comments.
What is the difference between "Children born abroad to British parents – Section 3 (2) or section 3 (5) application" in the MN1 guide?

I copy one paragraph: "It is important to note that a child registered under this section will be a British citizen by descent and unable to pass British citizenship automatically by descent to any of their children born abroad. A child registered under section 3(5) (see below) will be a British citizen otherwise than by descent: any of their children born abroad will be British by descent. If the family are living abroad, parents will need to decide whether to apply under this section. Or, if there is a possibility that they may return to live in the UK or a British overseas territory before the child reaches age 15, whether to wait and apply under section 3 (5). You should indicate that you are aware of this by ticking section 3.16 of the Form MN1."

Doesn't this option apply to my son because I was naturalised?

Thanks!
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Old Jan 31st 2015, 8:23 am
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Default Re: Problems with son's passport - can anyone help?

Originally Posted by Laura69 View Post
Thanks for your comments.
What is the difference between "Children born abroad to British parents – Section 3 (2) or section 3 (5) application" in the MN1 guide?

I copy one paragraph: "It is important to note that a child registered under this section will be a British citizen by descent and unable to pass British citizenship automatically by descent to any of their children born abroad. A child registered under section 3(5) (see below) will be a British citizen otherwise than by descent: any of their children born abroad will be British by descent. If the family are living abroad, parents will need to decide whether to apply under this section. Or, if there is a possibility that they may return to live in the UK or a British overseas territory before the child reaches age 15, whether to wait and apply under section 3 (5). You should indicate that you are aware of this by ticking section 3.16 of the Form MN1."

Doesn't this option apply to my son because I was naturalised?

Thanks!
But you are not considered 'British by descent.' Descent means by 'blood.' You are 'British otherwise than by descent.' It's your child who would not be able to pass on UK citizenship automatically to his/her future children.
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Old Jan 31st 2015, 12:51 pm
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Default Re: Problems with son's passport - can anyone help?

Hi Knighstrike, I know that I am British otherwise than by Descent, what is unclear are the two different options for children born abroad according to Section 3(2) or Section 3(5).
The way I read the "bureaucratese" is that if I register my son now while we are still abroad, he will be British by descent. If I don't register him now, if we go back to the UK and stay at least 3 years, we could register him as a British otherwise than by descent.
It is really unclear but the MN1 guide says clearly that these two options exist and the parents should be careful about this when registering children.
However, English is still my second language and I could interpret it in the wrong way...

Last edited by Laura69; Jan 31st 2015 at 12:55 pm.
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Old Jan 31st 2015, 12:52 pm
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Default Re: Problems with son's passport - can anyone help?

Anyway, the British authorities couldn't have made it more complicated...
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Old Jan 31st 2015, 12:54 pm
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Default Re: Problems with son's passport - can anyone help?

BritinParis, so you are confirming that my son had to be present in the UK when I applied for his passport? Thanks!
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Old Jan 31st 2015, 8:18 pm
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Default Re: Problems with son's passport - can anyone help?

Originally Posted by Laura69 View Post
Hi Knighstrike, I know that I am British otherwise than by Descent, what is unclear are the two different options for children born abroad according to Section 3(2) or Section 3(5).
The way I read the "bureaucratese" is that if I register my son now while we are still abroad, he will be British by descent. If I don't register him now, if we go back to the UK and stay at least 3 years, we could register him as a British otherwise than by descent.
It is really unclear but the MN1 guide says clearly that these two options exist and the parents should be careful about this when registering children.
However, English is still my second language and I could interpret it in the wrong way...
This would only apply if you were British by descent yourself and therefore your son wouldn't have been British at birth. As you naturalised as a British citizen you are a British citizen otherwise than by descent so your son is already a British citizen by descent.

Originally Posted by Laura69 View Post
BritinParis, so you are confirming that my son had to be present in the UK when I applied for his passport? Thanks!
The application needs to be made from wherever your son is.
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Old Feb 1st 2015, 2:22 pm
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Default Re: Problems with son's passport - can anyone help?

Hi BritinParis! Thank you very much
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Old Feb 1st 2015, 3:29 pm
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Default Re: Problems with son's passport - can anyone help?

Since you are naturalised British, it would be strongly recommended to get your child a consular birth certificate. That acts as lifetime evidence of British citizenship, while a passport is not.

Is he a citizen of the EU state which you are from, and/or does he have the other parent's nationality? What about passport from that country or countries?
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Old Feb 2nd 2015, 3:52 pm
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Default Re: Problems with son's passport - can anyone help?

HI JAJ, my son has dual citizenship and he doesn't need a passport to travel.
The advice to get him a consular birth certificate is very good, as you said he will be registered as a British citizen for good. I was also told by the Passport Office that a consular birth certificate might speed up things when I apply for his passport, but reading other threads leaves me doubtful...
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Old Feb 2nd 2015, 3:52 pm
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Default Re: Problems with son's passport - can anyone help?

HI JAJ, my son has dual citizenship and he doesn't need a British passport to travel.
The advice to get him a consular birth certificate is very good, as you said he will be registered as a British citizen for good. I was also told by the Passport Office that a consular birth certificate might speed up things when I will eventually apply for his passport, but reading other threads leaves me doubtful...
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